News

Vaccination against measles: increasing number of measles cases


Measles - when and how you should get vaccinated properly

Measles are highly contagious viruses. Children in particular are the main risk group for this infectious disease, which can cause serious complications and related complications, which in the worst case can be fatal. The safe and uncomplicated vaccination protects children and adults from measles with great certainty. The Standing Vaccination Commission (STIKO) at the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) provides information on the right time for a measles vaccination.

STIKO advises vaccination against measles with a combination vaccine. The so-called MMR vaccine not only protects against measles but also against mumps and rubella. According to STIKO, babies should already be given two measles vaccinations. The first vaccination should usually be given at the age of 11 to 14 months. The second vaccination then takes place until the end of the second year of life. With this method the earliest possible vaccination protection is achieved. In special cases, the first MMR vaccination can take place as early as the ninth month if the child has had contact with measles or if an admission to a community facility, such as a day care center, is imminent. In this special case, the second MMR vaccination had to be given at the beginning of the second year of life.

Not only children should get vaccinated

According to STIKO, a single vaccination against measles with an MMR vaccine is recommended for all adults born after 1970 with an unclear vaccination status, without vaccination or with just one childhood vaccination. This applies in particular to people who work in the health service, in care or in community facilities. Vaccination during or shortly before pregnancy does not lead to a higher risk of congenital malformations, but STIKO does not advise women to be vaccinated a month before or during pregnancy. An MMR vaccination, on the other hand, is harmless while breastfeeding. After vaccination, so-called vaccination measles can occur in some people, which may also be accompanied by fever. However, this possible side effect is not contagious.

Why are measles dangerous?

The Morbillivirus is the causative agent of measles and belongs to the Paramyxoviruses. These are enveloped viruses with a helical capsid. The infectious disease is not only highly contagious, it is also accompanied by complications in many cases. Complications that occur frequently are middle ear or pneumonia. In very rare cases, measles disease can also develop into encephalitis, i.e. meningitis. In the worst case, which occurs only very rarely, subacute sclerosing panencephalitis develops as a late consequence of measles. This inflammatory brain disease usually only occurs four to ten years after measles and is fatal. You can find out more about measles in the article Number of measles cases in Germany, which is rising rapidly. (fp)

Author and source information


Video: Measles Outbreak. Measles Explained. Measles Vaccine. MMR Vaccine. Public Health England. 2018 (September 2020).